Milbi Festival students congratulated for performance

Major Jack Dempsey with Milbi performers from Kalkie State School.
Major Jack Dempsey with Milbi performers from Kalkie State School.

More than 160 students from 15 schools have been awarded certificates of appreciation from Bundaberg Regional Council for their outstanding performance in the inaugural Milbi Festival gala opening and bandabara concert.

Mayor Jack Dempsey visited Kalkie State School recently to deliver certificates to 30 Reef Guardian students who took part in the performance, which celebrated the life cycle of turtles.

“Our first ever Milbi Festival was a very special event for the region and showcased all things turtles, arts, culture and Indigenous heritage,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“A highlight was the amazing performance by more than 120 students from across the Bundaberg Region, who brought to life the story of the life cycle of our turtles through dance and movement.

“I would like to say a big thank you to these students for their many hours of rehearsal in helping to create a wonderful performance which took the audience on a truly magnificent journey about our region.”

Kalkie State School teacher Judith Stutchbury said the Milbi Festival gala opening performance had been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students involved.

“The Milbi Festival was an amazing opportunity for the students in our region,” she said.

Video: Paul Donaldson

“Teachers, students and parents from across the region were all working together for the greater good; it was just lovely.

“For students to come together like that, it was so worthwhile.”

The Milbi Festival gala opening was held in Buss Park last month and featured a performance telling the story of the sea and river coming together to create the perfect nesting area for turtles.

Judith said through dance and movement, primary and secondary students shared the important life cycle of turtles at Mon Repos with their community at the gala opening.

“The children were initially nervous and not sure what to expect but when they came along to rehearsals and saw the vivaciousness of Bundaberg Regional Council choreographer's Trevor Green and Robert McLellan, their nerves eased,” she said.

“People were amazed by the costumes, music and togetherness.”

Ethan Smith receives his certificate from Major Jack Dempsey at Kalkie State School.

Kalkie State School students Harrison Keaghtley and Chloe Clemente said they were thrilled to be part of the event and had lots of learning the dance routine and dressing in the extravagant costumes.

“At the gala opening I was a turtle carrying an egg and I sang with Topology,” Chloe said.

“We practiced for about four weeks. It was a really good opportunity to have a go at something new,” Harrison added.